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China outdoes itself with unprecedented surveillance initiative

Joshua Topolsky
August 13, 2007
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The Chinese government, long-renowned for its tolerance, unobtrusive law-making, and general good vibes, has announced plans to begin outfitting its citizens with a new kind of ID card; one with an embedded chip that will include the holder's name, address, work history, educational background, religion, ethnicity, police record, medical insurance status and landlord's phone number. The cards will also carry reproductive history information, to further aid authorities in enforcing China's "one child" policy. Ostensibly, the cards will keep track of the large influx of peasants moving to cities, though Michael Lin, VP of China Public Security Technology, went on (in Orwellian fashion) to say; "If they do not get the permanent card, they cannot live here, they cannot get government benefits, and that is a way for the government to control the population in the future." Additionally, authorities are aggressively installing new security cameras around cities like Shenzhen, which utilize sophisticated recognition software co-developed by US companies like IBM, HP, and Dell. When reached for comment at the Ministry of Truth, the Chinese version of Big Brother was unavailable, as he was busy rationing out Soylent Green, Soma, and Ludovico technique treatments.

[Via Techmeme]



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